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Bar carts add function and fun to your home

Bar carts are definitely a thing. You can tell because when you google “bar cart” you get links to pages like “550 most popular bar carts.” Everyone from Neiman Marcus to Home Depot advertises bar carts. They star in most editions of “Flea Market Flip” on HGTV.

Let’s agree: Bar carts are fun, but 550 is too many. You just need to find the one that’s right for you. And today we are going to help.

Sumptuous or utilitarian

If you have a thousand or more dollars to spend on a bar cart, you can find one that looks nothing like a bar. They even come in the shape of motorcycles ($3,400, but shipping is free). You need plenty of space for most of these and a room in which they can be the decorative star.

For the rest of us, who might live in small quarters and wish to entertain in minimum space, a bar cart can be fashioned from anything that offers a flat surface without wobbling too much.

Did your grandma bequeath you a trunk that once carried the family’s valuables and now is taking up space in the corner of someone’s basement? Place it on a small table, and top it with a cutting board or a decorative tray. It can become your bar cart.

And as Lara Spencer (one of our favorite flea market stars) often points out, you can build your own from scrap. Don’t forget that Lara’s contestants have help from a small army of artisans. It’s hard work to convert a sewing machine cabinet or a small dog house into a bar cart.

Antique vs. modern

Some bar carts are actual antiques – or at least old and beautiful. Or old and unique. Choices include old television consoles (a Diva favorite), as well as tool chests and cable drums. As with grandma’s trunk, you need to check that it can hold several bottles of liquor without collapsing.

And of course it should fit your décor. If the rest of your living room is of modern design, perhaps the cart that features a lace parasol isn’t right for you. Instead, you might look for something sleek, with accents of chrome and polished wood. These bar carts have the advantage of actually being built for the job of keeping heavy bottles and delicate glassware from crashing to the floor during a crowded party.

Decorate to reflect your taste

For some reason, bar carts often come with mirrors, so you have to decide about that, too. But bar carts also offer opportunities for you to decorate with your own flourishes. And they can change from day to day and holiday to holiday. Even when you are preparing for just one special guest on say, Valentine’s Day, it might be worth the trouble to create a version of this romantic centerpiece. (For Halloween, replace pink with red, Bloody Mary’s for the Perrier, etc.)

At other times, perhaps you gather several springs of rosemary in a glass vase. They will perfume the air and offer a garnish for guests who drink with a flourish. You can always squeeze at least a small bouquet of flowers among the bottles on nearly any cart. And they are perfect for colored tablecloths, candles, and other artistic touches.

Remember that every bar cart should have room for cocktail ingredients, a few bottles of wine, and a bucket of ice.

Oh, and there is one more thing.

To really impress, excellent glassware is required. When you go to the trouble of creating an entirely new mood for your libations, consider stemware, tumblers and beer glasses with a diva’s personality.